Nailsea and Tickenham Reserves 1 Minehead 3

The Stags’ second string threatened to overrun their visitors with effective link-up play cutting through the Minehead defence like the proverbial knife through butter.

Captain and influential striker Nic Steadman was presented with the first opportunity but shot just over when well placed. Then a superb double save from keeper Kyran Wilkins kept Jack Allen’s one-on-one attempts at bay.

Though looking laboured, Minehead managed to hang on until play evened out for a while, and a deep cross from Mike Graddon was headed away for a corner by a desperate defender just before Luke Howells looked destined to head home. However Minehead continued to be undone and the hosts finally took the lead after 32 minutes when centre half Craig Adams’ sliced shot in a crowded goalmouth deceived everyone and went in off the far post.

Minehead should have replied instantly but a long direct centre from Harry Scatchard was headed wide at the far post by Matty Ronan.

After an even first fifteen minutes of the second half during which tempers started to rise, Minehead started to make inroads into and through the home defence and Guy Burns’ powerful shot grazed the bar after a good move. Minutes later after another slick move it was Graddon who this time got through the backline to beat keeper Matt Shaughnessy from twelve yards to level the scores.

Within five minutes the visitors were ahead, courtesy of another defence splitting move confidently finished off by Burns.

Fresh legs were introduced during the next 10 minutes with all three substitutes being introduced and Minehead were now largely controlling play. The move of the match was rewarded by Graddon scoring the third, running onto a deft flick from substitute Connery Attwell after team-mates had outwitted the home midfield with quick fire passing. Further chances were created by the visitors who could have scored several more during an impressive final 30 minutes, leaving the home side ruing their missed opportunities early on.

Minehead: Kyran Wilkins, Cody Truscott, Luke Bloys, Harry Scatchard, Mike Mullen, Lee Todd, Matty Ronan, Mike Graddon, Matty Harvey, Luke Howells, Guy Burns

Subs: Tristan Hawkins, Connery Attwell, Paul Smyth (All Used)

Man of the Match: Mike Graddon

Minehead play east Bristol based Saltford in the Somerset Senior Cup 1st Round at Irnham Road on Saturday where the tie kicks off at the earlier time of 2:30pm. Both sides currently play in the County League First Division and the Blues’ opponents have started well with two impressive victories over clubs fancied for promotion (Somerton and Uphill Castle). The tie, being the first of three contests scheduled between the sides for this season, will be the first time in history that the clubs have met.

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